October 2000

Crikey. The column for October. In September. I'll mask my distress at the passage of time with a nice irrelevant lyric:

"I know the animals...are laughing at us!

They don't even know... what a joke is!"

-Talking Heads, "Animals"

So, after that whole ordeal with my mom, what's happened? Not a whole lot.

I did go to my first gay-friendly bar recently, though that story is a little long for graphic inclusion here. Long story short: Marble and I fabricated a cover story for my parents and her grandmother and we had Latex pick us up and drive us around for a while. We parked by the Rio Grande river, walked over to Mexico, walked back, and then went to a dance club called Paul's. The music was as tacky as it was deafeningly loud and the haze of cigarette smoke made me nauseous. I sat on my ass for roughly 2 hrs trying not to succumb to the numbing tedium. Marble and Latex danced a while.

Oh yeah, turns out Latex isn't bi. He's gay. Despite professing a love for Angelina Jolie. Doesn't matter to me either way, really.

Fabricating a cover story bothered me slightly. It didn't get to me too much, since this trip to Paul's was pretty much a one-time event for me. It was either then or never, and there wasn't enough time to come out to the rest of my family AND to convince them to let me go out to some gay bar that not even Latex had ever been to before. So a cover story it was. We said we were celebrating Latex's birthday. We made it look like a spur of the moment thing. We said we didn't know exactly where we were headed.

So I justified this to myself by saying that I'd be out to my Dad soon enough, that I was going to be fully out before my first day at LCC and I'd mail-order a little iron-on gay pride patch for my backpack and I'd be a fun example for majorly closeted Laredo.

So I'm now entering my fourth week of classes at LCC (as of this writing) and he still doesn't know. I haven't ordered my pride patch. (Couldn't even find one... anyone know of a good site?) My mom and I never talk about it, unless she's teasingly using the phrase "fagged out" to mean being tired or worn out.

Needless to say, I'm less than content.

To some extent, I've compensated for my lack of action in the real world by moving bag and baggage into that of the online journal world (which was originally planned as an extension of this monthly column, but has since taken on a life of its own.)

My weekday routine has pretty much become the following: I'm forced awake by impatient parents and shuttled to school. My Dad is a department head out at the college and my Mom is taking classes, so my time out there is either spent sitting alone not talking to anyone in particular or sitting next to my parents not talking to them.

I get shuttled home at half past noon when my classes end, put off my homework (little though it is), go to sleep, wake up some time in the late afternoon, ignore my homework a little more, write in my online journal about whatever neurosis I'm nursing at the moment, take a shower, go to bed. Blather, Rinse, Repeat.

Something's gotta change.

While I'm certainly no happier for coming out to my mom, a couple of my fears have been assuaged.

I was afraid that when I told my Mom she might freak and yell and alert the rest of the house, wrenching things more firmly out of control than they'd be already.

I was afraid that she might either kick me out of the house out-right, and I'd have to run barefoot to Marble's and request asylum for the night.

I was afraid of... I don't know. All of those horror stories; conversion attempts, trips to a psychiatrist, the whole gamut.

And I know this was irrational. I knew at some deep level that there wouldn't be any Earth-shaking consequences, but until you actually take that final step, you always have to wonder.

I don't have to wonder any more. Mumsy wasn't thrilled out of her socks, but nothing extremely messy happened. My Dad is even less emotionally volatile, and he's the type of person that in an argument tends to drop (or at least mask) his misgivings and let you have your way so you can go prove yourself wrong. (And I know there's no chance that I'm wrong about being gay. Even if I didn't trust the head on my shoulders, the head between your legs never lies about such things.)

As crass as it sounds, the only thing that's keeping me in the closet at the moment is emotional convenience. Right now, I'm trading whatever self-esteem that having the courage to come out would give me for smoother relations with the parental units.

If I know myself as well as I think I do, I'll soon start to feel like I'm stagnating and that'll give me the impetus to run out into the living room and tell my parents that I'm gay like a big boy.

Until then, this is Mark, remaining hidden and signing off. You can contact me at mrsaturnine@crosswinds.net or get a whole lot more where this came from at http://mrplutonium.diaryland.com. I wish you all good luck; you'll probably need it.

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